Hawaii Pedestrian/Crosswalk Accident Attorney:
Foster Law Offices represents Hawaii residents, visitors, and tourists injured in accidents caused by drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. In most pedestrian cases, the injured victim is hit while walking in a crosswalk.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics In Hawaii:
As we all know, driving is a dangerous business. It is even more dangerous when a driver is not paying attention to the roadway. A study conducted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2003 and 2012 found that approximately ten percent of all highway related fatalities across the country involved a pedestrian. That amounts to over 5,000 pedestrian fatalities each year in the United States alone. The study also found that over 80,000 pedestrians are injured each year in motor vehicle related accidents.
Unfortunately, Hawaii's pedestrian accident rate is significantly higher than the national average (on a per capita basis). Every year, Hawaii residents and visitors suffer an average of 30 pedestrian deaths and over 500 pedestrian injuries.
Catastrophic Injuries In Pedestrian Accidents:
An accident involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian can result in catastrophic injuries, substantial medical expenses and significant pain and suffering. In Hawaii, a pedestrian who is hit by a motor vehicle may be entitled to a financial settlement to compensate the pedestrian for the same damages available to a driver or passenger in an auto versus auto accident.
The extent and severity of pedestrian injuries can be fatal. Even at low speeds, the sheer mass of a vehicle's impact with a pedestrian can cause life-threatening and debilitating injuries. Common injuries in Hawaii pedestrian accident cases include:
- Head injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Torn tendons and ligaments
- Disc herniation and soft tissue injuries to spine
Proving A Pedestrian Accident Claim In Hawaii:
In order to obtain a financial settlement in a Hawaii pedestrian accident case, the injured pedestrian must prove that the driver of the motor vehicle was negligent in causing the accident. In Hawaii, there are four elements that must be proven in a negligence case: (1) Duty; (2) Breach of Duty; (3) Causation; (4) Damages.
Since driver's have a duty to follow the rules of the roadway, the duty to pedestrians is easily established. Proving that the driver breached the duty will involve a thorough review of the accident facts. One common issue with pedestrian accidents is that the pedestrian is struck without warning or notice. As a result, the accident facts are sometimes unknown to the injured victim and may have to be re-created by an accident reconstruction expert. Causation between the accident and injuries must also be proven. If the injured victim had pre-existing injuries in the area of the body injured in the pedestrian accident, causation may become an issue in the personal injury claim. Finally, damages must be proven through testimony of the injured victim in conjunction with medical and expert testimony.
As you can see, proving a pedestrian accident case in Hawaii can be challenging. Insurance companies employ sophisticated legal strategies and claim tactics in order to avoid paying the injured victim the compensation he or she is entitled to under Hawaii law.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents In Hawaii:
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Failure of driver to obey posted traffic instructions, i.e. running red lights/stop signs
- Failing to acknowledge pedestrian right of way in a crosswalk
- Failure to keep the vehicle on designated roadways
- Drunk and intoxicated driving
- Texting/cell phone use while driving
- Ocean and sightseeing/distracted driving.
In one Foster Law Offices pedestrian accident case, the driver actually motioned for our client to cross in the sidewalk before hitting the client in the middle of the crosswalk. The driver stated that she became distracted and forgot she motioned to our client.
Uninsured (UM), Underinsured (UIM), and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claims Available In Hawaii Pedestrian Accident Cases:
If a pedestrian is struck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Hawaii, the injured pedestrian may be eligible to receive a financial settlement from his or her own auto insurance company if the at-fault driver has no insurance or is underinsured. Auto insurance benefits may be available even though the pedestrian was not driving at the time of the accident. An uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) claim results in the same type of financial settlement as would be available from a negligent driver.
Also, a personal injury protection (PIP) claim may be available to a pedestrian who is struck by an uninsured motorist. PIP benefits pay for short term medical expenses that are not paid for by the driver responsible for the injured pedestrian's injuries.
Since UM, UIM and PIP claims are all based on the injured pedestrian's auto insurance policy, it is important to review the relevant insurance policy, or policies, in order to determine whether such benefits are available. Given the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Hawaii, it is important to purchase as much UM/UIM coverage as possible.
Contact Hawaii Pedestrian/Crosswalk Attoreny:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island, Lanai or Molokai - Hawaii personal injury attorney, Jeffrey Foster is available for representation. To schedule a free consultation, please contact our office today at (808) 348-7800 or by completing the "Contact Our Firm" box to the right.